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Weight: What’s the Skinny on it?

February 10, 2010 | NeW Staff

Yesterday I asked whether obesity is the biggest health care concern for America and many of you responded with insightful answers. Today, I wonder about the flip side—anorexia and bulimia.

“What’s Wrong with Skinny” is hot off the press from the Daily Beast’s Lisa Hilton. Hilton argues,

“[While] Anorexia and bulimia are horrific psychological conditions, destroying lives and families, and carrying devastating long-term health risks even when not fatal…But are these conditions nearly so prevalent as the barrage of attention it regularly attracts actually deserves?”


This is where it gets interesting. Hilton tells the story of Sasha, a top model who in her prime walked the Tom Ford runway and made a cool million by the time she was 20. Sasha sacrificed her health for her career (she goes on record saying she drank diet coke and ate apples for two years) but to her, being skinny was just a prerequisite to making it to the top.

Hilton asks,

“Why are we so keen to dismiss the professionalism and discipline of models who are prepared to make sacrifices to reach the top? Is it a coincidence that modeling is the one profession outside the porn industry where women consistently out-earn their male counterparts? Are we just a bit angry that young women with no qualifications other than what nature gave them get to be so powerful?”


What do you think? Is there a double standard when no one looks twice at the male athletes who use diuretics and skips meals to make weight?

On the other hand, where is the national campaign against anorexia and bulimia? And why all the attention to weight? When did being skinny or fat NOT count as a personal decision?

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